Friday, January 23, 2015

Friday Favorites: Short Week!

We loved having a short week this week. Having Monday off really is one of the best little treats!

The majority of our short week was pretty wonderful. We started our week well rested and refreshed. We enjoyed the nice weather. And we LOVED having daddy home all week. Unfortunately however, by Wednesday night both Austin and Layton had come down with yucky colds and Austin has an ear infection to go along with his. I can't even begin to tell you how grateful we were for our possible longest "well stretch" ever. It was glorious... until it was over. Haha. Two babies being sick and miserable just isn't fun. Wednesday night was super rough on everybody. (Well except Garrison who was peacefully sleeping and totally oblivious.) And Thursday just made for a looonnng day. However, we all slept through the night last night. Yay!! So we're hoping we've reached a turning point.

Here are my favorites from our short week...

*Sister love and selfie fun at my Nanny's party. =)  (That yellow thing clutched under my arm... that would be formula. Just keeping it real. Ha.)
*My shopping buddy on Sunday afternoon after everybody in the house woke up from naps. Awesomeness.
*My biggest boy has been in Kindergarten for 100 days! He had a fun day celebrating the milestone. =)

*In honor of the 100th day of school and Garrison getting to take 100 of something of his choice to school (he chose skittles), Austin wanted to count 100 skittles too for our school time. So we did. =) He did great!

*Outdoor stroll in pleasant January weather... yes please! (Although I still want to see some snow this year!)

*Our weather craft this week was an umbrella U. This was always our preschool craft for the letter U when I was teaching so it was fun doing it with my very own baby.
*The sunrise on this particular morning while taking Garrison to school was ah-mazing. This picture doesn't do it justice at all. The sky was on fire and God's beauty was on display. The big boys loved it. So did I!

*Garrison and I managed to sneak away last night (after a really rough day for mama) for Math Night at school. We loved all the math ideas we got and previewing what's coming in 1st grade. I'm glad we made the effort to go.

Tonight I'm looking forward to a girl's night for me (woohoo!) and then soaking up the rest of the weekend with my guys. Praying we all get well and stay well! Happy Friday!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Long Weekend of Happy

We had a really great long weekend full of happy, family fun. It was one of the best. And we were blessed to all have Monday off together which was just icing on the cake after our week without daddy. We do not take him for granted!

Our Friday night was low-key and laid back. The big boys enjoyed their traditional Friday night movie night before bedtime and then Terrell and I caught up on our shows. There are just some shows you have to watch together. State of Affairs, Blue Bloods, Hawaii Five-O, Scorpion just to name a few. We are almost completely caught up. =)

On Saturday we let the boys sleep in before getting on the road to our old stomping ground. We made the trip to Covington and Conyers to take care of some birthday party needs and then ate lunch at one of our favorites... Stevi B's! It was a treat for all of us, especially these cuties.

We also made a stop by our house to check on things. Everything still looked good (Praise the Lord) and the big boys loved running around with no furniture in their way. Austin even said once, Garr-sin, let's go to our room! *Tear* It was kind of strange being back in the place we called home for almost 8 years. It was nostalgic for sure. But it was a good little road trip with very little backseat drama. Success!

Then on Saturday night we went out to celebrate my Nanny's 80th birthday! She is one special lady and we had a fun night celebrating with her. We got a big room at a restaurant and then went to my parents' house for cake, ice cream, and presents afterwards.

Guest of honor while we sang Happy Birthday. 

My Nanny with her firstborn (my dad) and his family. =)

Sunday was filled with church, napping, grocery shopping, and grilling out. It was pretty perfect. And while we were at my parents' house grilling out, Layton had a major blow-out diaper that required a little bubble bath in the bathroom sink. Ha! He was less than impressed. His face in the mirror cracks me up!


Monday was the best. We all slept late. We enjoyed a lazy morning around the house. And then we went to the park for a picnic! Once the wind stopped trying to blow us away the weather was perfect. We had so much fun!
First time swinging! He was a fan. =)
The big boys had a ball too. Free fun is sometimes the best fun. 


Layton and I even got to watch the big boys play baseball with daddy. They loved every second! Which makes me so excited to watch them play this Spring. 

Our long weekend was filled to the brim with HAPPY. We had lots of fun together as a family and just enjoyed all 3 days to the fullest. God's goodness overflows!

Today, we're back to the routine and party planning and the 100th day of school. =) Have a good Tuesday!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Friday Favorites: 1 Week Down, 1 Week to Go

We made it to Friday! TGIF!! Whew! This week was a long one with my hubby out of town. Pulling double duty around the clock is a tad exhausting... especially when you aren't used to it. And especially when your baby boy decides not to sleep through the night. Thankfully I knew we'd be fine because we survived this past Fall and I always have lots of help. Thank goodness. But there's just no replacing daddy and what he does for us around here. I am BLESSED.

Both sets of grandparents took us out to eat this week and helped with getting the boys where they needed to go while I was working and Terrell was gone, and I was able to keep my head above water for the most part. Unfortunately the grandparents also got to witness the crazy that occurs when mama doesn't want to cause a scene and daddy isn't here. Ugh. Too bad they can't be a fly on the wall when things are normal around here. I mean our normal is always a little crazy, but at least with daddy home it's a shared crazy. A team crazy. A controlled crazy. Oh how I missed him!! But now he's home and our family of five is enjoying being under the same roof again. We get a whole week with daddy at home before he leaves for his last and final week of training. Yaaaay! We've almost made it!

Here are my favorite moments from my week on my own...

*We went out to eat at one of Terrell's favorite restaurants on Saturday night. Yum. While we were there AnAn got these cute pictures. We had a really fun night.


*Monday morning selfie before hitting the road. *Tear*

*Before he left he had time to play a couple of games of Zingo with Austin. Countless games of Zingo and Memory and Don't Break the Ice have been played this week.

*This week for school Austin and I focused on the clouds. And it was the perfect week given we've seen nothing but clouds here. We read a good book explaining clouds and then did a little experiment to demonstrate water droplets becoming heavy and falling from the clouds as rain. We also made some clouds using "puffy" paint... glue and shaving cream. =) Austin loved our school time this week.


*Me and my boys before heading out to eat with Nana and Pops. We decided to send this to daddy. =) We missed him big time. For some reason this week was harder on my biggest boy than his previous weeks away. We had tears and anxiety and had to talk to daddy lots while he was out of town.

*Impromptu movie night on a school night! It technically wasn't a movie but it was still a big time treat on a school night. This is called mama doing what she had to do.
*I enjoyed a good hour of one-on-one time with this little love on Wednesday while the big boys were at choir. It was quiet and special and needed!

*Favorite not-pictured moments: DADDY COMING HOME!!! And, Garrison reading to us 2 nights in a row before bed. He finally checked out a book from the library at school that he's capable of reading to us. He's doing great and it's such good practice for him. I loved every minute of listening to him. Especially last night when all 5 of us piled on the couch together to listen. Pure bliss for this mama.

Now we are so, so, soo looking forward to the long weekend and extra time with daddy! We're planning to get lots of party stuff done, celebrating my Nanny's 80th birthday, and enjoying lots of family time. Happy Friday and Happy Long Weekend!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Planning 2 Parties in January: Notes to Self

I am currently in the trenches. Party. Planning. Trenches. It's a real thing. Time consuming, thought consuming real. Round the clock (it feels like) planning. Every spare moment (almost) busy with something party related. Invitations, cakes, decor, and favors are on the brain lots. No more lazy, boring, uneventful January's for us. Ha!

We have 2 boys born exactly five years and one week apart at our house. Which means their birthdays are super close (February 5th and February 12th), yet so far apart (5 years between them). Soo.... kind of hard to combine parties at this point. And honestly I just couldn't do it this year anyway having one boy so excited about his 6th birthday party and one boy totally clueless yet still about to celebrate with his very own (super special to his family) 1st birthday party. Let's face it, with 5 years difference in age and therefore friends and interests, we may not be combining birthday parties til they both leave the nest.

Which brings me to my tips and notes to self. Cause Januarys just got a whole lot crazier and I need to remember this stuff in the future.

*Plan as much as you can before January. Even if it's the week after Christmas. Check your calendar and tentatively schedule party dates. Ask the boys to start thinking about what kind of party they want. Brainstorm ideas. Check into party locations. If you can do it amist the Christmas busyness and fun, DO IT. No matter how small, just do it.

*Write everything down. There is sooo much to be done you must write it down the second you think of it. To-do lists are your friend.

*First things first. Focus on the first party first. (Ahh. That's been a little tough to do this go round with trying to get the baby book finished for Layton's party and his monkey pictures ready to go to the frame shop and his theme finalized. But I must remember I have weeks between the 2 parties. 3 weeks to be exact. Plenty of time for Layton's party to come together.)

*Do a little bit everyday. With Terrell being out of town this week I've had some extra time on my hands during the evenings so I'm trying to tackle a little "party prep" everyday. Getting invitations ready to mail, working on some DIY decor (very basic... I'm not that talented. Haha.), working on the baby book, picking out party supplies, etc. Doing a little everyday is still a lot of work but much more managable and doable than trying to cram it all in at the last minute. (This is big for me because I don't work so well under pressure.)

*Shop for both parties at the same time. If possible have all of your party supplies, decor, and favors decided in time to shop for everything at once. Two birds with one stone. One trip to Hobby Lobby, Party City, Target, Walmart, wherever. These places aren't 5 minutes away so it's in everybody's best interest (especially mama's) to make one trip.

*Try not to get carried away or stressed out over favors. Favors have always gotten to me. I just prefer favors that go really well with the theme and that aren't all junk or things that will make parents crazy. Whhhhy? Why do I put myself through the stress? Why must I be different and difficult?? Ahhh! Terrell keeps me in check when it comes to how much I spend on the favors but that doesn't stop me from trying to come up with the perfect little theme centered favors every time. Gracious. I need to chill. I need to lower the expectations just a tad. I need to be okay with whatever works... for the budget, the theme, time, etc. Which I think I'm doing a better job of with these 2 parties. Although Layton's favors are still undecided at the moment...

*Don't forget to plan something special for their actual birthdays. Spacing out the parties is a BIG help, but we will still be celebrating their actual birthdays only 1 week apart. Which means we'll need to remember things like balloons, a special breakfast, them picking dinner, and how we're celebrating at school. While the parties are "bigger" and requrie more planning, we can't neglect the details of their special days.

*Last but not least...Don't forget about Valentine's Day!! While the birthday parties will pretty much take the cake, Valentine's Day is still 2 days after Layton's birthday and smack dab in between the 2 parties. Therefore school Valentines plus anything special we want to do here at home cannot be forgotten or overlooked.

Whew! I think I covered everything. And I plan to refer back to this list year after year if needed because party planning for my babies has just become my thing I get really into and run with. It's like part of my love language. I live in the details and I like making things special. We can't afford extravagance or going wild spending tons of money on parties so I just plan the details and do what I can within reason to make their parties fun, memorable, and special. Because they're worth it and I want to. =)

Planning parties is work. Lots of work. But, at the end of the day (or party) it's totally worth it and I really love doing it. Seeing my birthday boys having fun at their parties and hearing how much they enjoyed themselves once they're old enough to tell me is priceless. One of the best things ever. Even grown-ups having fun and enjoying the celebration is pretty special. So party plan I will continue.

Time to get back to work!

Monday, January 12, 2015

11 Months Old

My littest is 11 months old today. 11 MONTHS OLD!! Oh the craziness, oh the emotion! This time last year I was waddling and big and heavy and on the final stretch of my pregnancy, and today I have an 11 month old and we're on countdown to his first birthday. Time flies when you're having fun. =)

This month has been a good one. We celebrated Layton's first Christmas. We enjoyed the season with 3 little men. We slowed down and relaxed after Christmas. We chased down our super fast army crawler and watched him become an expert puller upper. And we started planning our baby's 1st birthday. I enjoyed this month lots and intend to soak up this next one as much as I can.

11 month pictures with his monkey! This month I had to be super fast because little man was busy! Thankfully he didn't take a dive off the couch. =)


 
Garrison at 11 months... my almost 6 year old. *Tear*
 
Austin at 11 months... my almost 3.5 year old. *Another tear*
 
11 Months Stats & Happenings...
 
*I really have no idea how much you weigh or how long you are this month. All I know is that you LOVE to eat, you feel heavier, and you have to be gaining weight. Have to. I'm hoping you weigh close to 18 pounds but we won't know for sure until you go back to the doctor or I can remember to try to weigh you at Granna and Papa's.
 
*You're wearing size 4 diapers now and are wearing all 12 months or 12-18 months clothes.
 
*We spotted another tooth this month! I keep thinking it's broken through but I can't be positive. It's still hard to feel but right there ready to show itself. =)
 
*You're still eating like there's no tomorrow. You love table food the most but we still do lots of baby food too. I think your absolute favorite things to eat are "snacks". You love puffs, crunchies, cherrios, crackers, and yogurt melts a LOT.
 
*This month we dropped your mid-morning bottle so now you take 3 bottles a day... first thing in the morning (8 oz), in the afternoon when you wake up from your nap (7 oz), and in the evening before bedtime (7 oz). Right now you're showing no signs of being tired of the bottle or too busy for it. I'm thinking it may be a little tough to go cold turkey with no more bottles on your first birthday like we did with your big brothers. This month we tried out a little cup with a straw that you seem to enjoy more than a traditional sippy cup. You'll only drink from it once you know you aren't getting anymore food though. You're just our little piglet right now. =) 
 
*You started back sleeping through the night every night this month! Yay!!!You go to bed around 7:30 and wake up anytime between 6:30 and 7:30. Over Christmas break you started sleeping til almost 8!
 
*Your naps are still a tad on the short side. Your morning nap is usually a little over an hour and your afternoon nap is about an hour and a half. Thankfully you're content to play once you wake up so that I can at least leave you in your bed for almost the full 2 hours. Naptime is important to mama so I'll take what I can get!
 
*You are pretty much into everything now! You're army crawling all over (with an occassional regular crawl mixed in) and pulling up everywhere. You're opening cabinets and all over the house and still putting any and everything you can get your hands on in your mouth. You are a busy boy most of the time. Although your big brothers keep you entertained lots. You love playing in their room with them. You also play really well with 8 month old Baby A when he's here. =)
 
*Both your big brothers had had their first haircut by 11 months but so far you aren't showing any signs of needing one just yet. Your hair is also way blonder than your big brothers. I'm curious to see what color and "kind" of hair you'll have. =)
 
*You are such a blessing to our family and we can't get enough of you! I even think your big brothers have embraced your mobility with patience and grace. Happy Birthday to the littlest member of our family! We love you more than you know!!


Friday, January 9, 2015

Friday Favorites: Back from the Break Edition

We have had a surprisingly good week getting back in the swing of things. I think we've all adjusted better than I expected. Thank you Lord. Because we were all dreading it something serious.

I'm also back from my little break from Friday Favorites. I decided not to worry about doing it over the holidays, but after reading through all of my posts from 2014, I realized that these posts every Friday are what capture our true everyday life... and what makes me stop and take more pictures. So I'm going to try to continue. I may not be able to keep the pace of every single week, but I do think I want to keep it up at least twice a month. We'll see how things go week to week I guess.

Here are my favorite happenings from our first week back from the break...

*Last Saturday we had one more Christmas family gathering with extended family on my mom's side. Part of the family was out of town for Christmas so this was our only time to get together. The big boys loved going to their cousins' house and all 3 boys got their very own "fan chair" for watching each other play sports. =)

*On Sunday, the weather here was pretty gross so Terrell and I planned a special snack and outing to get us out of the house Sunday after naptime... Dairy Queen! Always a treat for the whole fam.

*Monday morning back to school, back to the grind. Loved and appreciated so much the good attitudes from my boys!
*My lunches have become super light this school year. Not always healthy light but typically light in the sense of small. I'm just so busy at lunchtime with my littles (and usually an extra baby too) that I don't have time to make myself a whole lot. Plus our "lunch food" options aren't that impressive. So Terrell always makes fun of me and is like you're going to eat THAT? That's all?? Haha! So I sent him this picture the other day... and then he sent me a picture of his huge lunch. His lunches have grown with the new job. Ha! One day I'm going to come up with some good but easy lunches for myself!
*Homework time for my biggest means my middle wants some too and my littlest can't be left out. Love the way they love to be together. Most of the time at least. (Their table has sense been purged of the clutter. Thank goodness.)

*Austin and I started our new thematic unit this week... weather! I think it's going to be a fun theme. We started by checking out weather books from the library and making a snowman that spelled Selph. Last spelling mastered! 
 
*The boys all got UGA shirts for Christmas and wore them for the first time this week. Our little bulldogs were pretty adorable if I do say so myself. 
 
*Last night I stripped Layton down for his bath (but put his sleep sack around him so he wouldn't freeze) and was getting his water ready when I came out to see him wearing a fire hat. Oh my the cuteness! Terrell brought all the boys home Firehouse Subs hats. =) 
 
*I came across this post this week and have been meditating on it lots. It is such a good read for mamas. We are the thermostat of the home and I have seen firsthand just this week what a change in my attitude can do for my childrens' attitudes and our family's as a whole. And I love her tips!
 
This weekend should be pretty low-key for us. We're hoping for extra rest and soaking up our time with daddy before he heads out of town. Happy Friday!!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Christmas Thank You!

It's time for my 4th annual thank you post to our families for blessing our babies big time with such fun gifts for Christmas! Plus cute pictures of our little men with said gifts. Our way to say a big, huge THANK YOU to everybody. Not only did our families host us, feed us, and entertain us over Christmas, they also spoiled us. Mama and daddy included! Although this post is all about what the boys got. =) Our kiddos have enjoyed every single gift. Christmas present success all around!

And I have to say, this year seemed to be the perfect mix of fun, educational, and needed when it came to their gifts. Woohoo! Here's a look at the boys with lots of their fun new stuff...

One of Garrison's "wish list" items was a dress-up box with dress-up clothes. Superheros were a must! And Optimus Prime was a nice addition too. My big boys are dressing up all the time now. They love their box of clothes and love dressing up, rescuing people, putting out fires, and fighting bad guys. =)
 
Layton is enjoying all of his new toys (and clothes!) too. Right now, dumping out his "shape box" and sampling every shape is one of his favorite things to do.
 
The boys got a design and drill set plus a take-apart airplane that they have really enjoyed and played with lots. The drills work on both toys so they play with and work on them together... the perfect engaging, sitting still but still playing, activity! 
 
Garrison asked for real tools this year. So he got a little beginners tool set from Lowe's. He's ready to work on things and fix any problem that arises around here. =)
 
Layton got the perfect addition to his highchair! Baby boy is super demanding come mealtimes but this offers a fun distraction and buys mama and daddy a little time. Win-win!
 
The weather hasn't been very cooperative when it comes to getting outside and using our outdoor toys, but we have gotten out once or twice and these "stomp rockets" have been a huge hit. I know we'll use these lots in the future. Probably until they fall apart. Haha. The boys love them.

 
All 3 boys got brand new Bibles for Christmas and we read from them just about every single day. The big boys love them. They read/look at them all the time and have learned so, so much from them. In the picture below I actually caught them reading the story of David and Goliath to each other. It was so sweet. I totally melted. (We have the Beginners Bible and are huge fans. The stories are short and simple but still true to Scripture and very engaging and understanding for the ages of our kiddos. I love the Jesus Storybook Bible too but think it's a little too advanced right now.)
 
Layton's getting the hang of his little pop-up toy and loving it. =)
 
More dress-up... Firefighter Garrison!
 
And firefighter Austin! With motorcylce Wheeljack! The cuteness overflows. =)
 
Layton and his pull toy that he'll be able to pull around soon enough. =) For now he's content to try... or watch a big brother do it.
 
Hotwheels racetraks are all the rave. All but one are in the basement and the big boys keep them busy. We are swimming in cars around here. =)
 
Austin got a Leapfrog leapster this year and it's been perfect for him. He loves the games and I love the educational value. Garrison is a big fan too. Love it when siblings can share gifts!
More dress-up... My favorite superheroes around! They are in their element and down to business as soon as they put on the mask. =)
 
Two more items that aren't pictured but that I must mention are Garrison's vtech kidizoom watch which he is a huge fan of and the big boys' REAL golf clubs which they are soo excited about. And they all loaded up on clothes which is such a blessing for mama and daddy!
 
Big THANK YOU once again to the grandparents and aunts and uncles for being so generous to our boys and spoiling them good! Christmas fun continues for the Selph fam!